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Ronald M. Epstein, M.D.

Family Medicine, Palliative Care

Contact Information

Phone Numbers

Appointment: (585) 279-4800

Office: (585) 506-9484

Fax: (585) 473-2245

URMFGA member of the University of Rochester Medical Faculty Group

groupAn Accountable Health Partner

assignmentNot Accepting New Patients

Faculty Appointments


Ronald M. Epstein, M.D. is Professor of Family Medicine, Psychiatry & Oncology at the University of Rochester Medical Center, and board-certified in Family Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine. In addition to his clinical work, Dr. Epstein is active in research and medical education. He is Director of the Center for Communication and Disparities Research, which focuses on how to improve communication between clinicians, patients and their loved ones. He also directs the Deans Teaching Fellowship program to promote excellence in medical education. He has over 200 publications.

Dr. Epstein graduated from Wesleyan University (1976) and Harvard Medical School (1984). Among his accomplishments, he was named the first George Engel and John Romano Dean's Teaching Scholar at the University of Rochester. National honors include the Lynn Payer Award from the American Academy on Communication in Healthcare for lifetime achievement in research on communication and health and the Humanism in Medicine Award from the New York Academy of Medicine. He has been a Fulbright scholar at the Institute for Health Studies in Barcelona, Spain and a visiting scholar at the University of Sydney. He is a frequent keynote speaker at major national and international conferences on medical education, communication, and mindfulness in health care. He is a accomplished harpsichordist and gourmet cook, and an avid cyclist and cross-country skier. His wife, Deborah Fox is a freelance lutenist and founding artistic director of Pegasus Early Music. They have two children, Malka and Eli.



  • Family Medicine - American Board of Family Medicine
  • Hospice and Palliative Medicine - American Board of Family Medicine


BA | Wesleyan University

| Columbia University
Pre-Medical Studies

MD | Harvard Medical School

Post-doctoral Training & Residency

07/01/1988 - 06/30/1990
Fellowship in FM/Psych/HIV at Highland Hospital of Rochester

07/01/1985 - 06/30/1987
Residency in Family Medicine at Highland Hospital

07/01/1984 - 06/30/1985
Internship in Family Medicine at Highland Hospital

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Gold Humanism Award
Sponsor: Society of Teachers of Family Medicine
Location: San Diego, CA

2014 - 2014
The World's Most Influential Scientific Minds
Sponsor: Thomson Reuters

Highly Cited Researcher
Sponsor: Thomson Reuters

Steven Z. Miller Humanism in Medicine Award
Sponsor: New York Academy of Medicine

"Top Doctor"
Sponsor: Castle Connolly Medical Ltd

"Top Doctor"
Sponsor: US News & World Report

Best Published Research Paper of the Year Award
Sponsor: Society of General Internal Medicine

Article of the Year Award
Sponsor: Academy Health

Outstanding Contributions to the Literature on Theory, Practice & Teaching of Effective Healthcare Communication & Related Skill
Sponsor: American Academy on Communication in Healthcare

Fulbright Senior Scholar Award in Public/Global Health
Sponsor: International Award
Location: University of Córdoba, Spain

Humanism in Medicine Award
Sponsor: Association of American Medical Colleges nominee
Location: University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry

1998 - 2013
"Best Doctor in America"
Sponsor: America's Best Doctors

1997 - 1998
Fulbright Senior Lecturers Award
Sponsor: Institute for Health Studies
Location: Barcelona, Spain, International Award

1995 - 1998
George L. Engel and John Romano Dean's Teaching Scholar
Sponsor: URSMD
Location: Rochester, NY

1994 - 1998
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Generalist Physician Faculty Scholar

Volunteer of the Year Award
Sponsor: Volunteers of America
Location: Rochester, NY

Best Workshop
Sponsor: STFM Northeast Regional Meeting
Location: Hershey, PA

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Journal Articles

Fenton JJ, Duberstein PR, Kravitz RL, Xing G, Tancredi DJ, Fiscella K, Mohile S, Epstein RM. "Impact of Prognostic Discussions on the Patient-Physician Relationship: Prospective Cohort Study." Journal of clinical oncology : official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.. 2018 Jan 20; 36(3):225-230. Epub 2017 Nov 17.

Laidsaar-Powell R, Butow P, Charles C, Gafni A, Entwistle V, Epstein R, Juraskova I. "The TRIO Framework: Conceptual insights into family caregiver involvement and influence throughout cancer treatment decision-making." Patient education and counseling.. 2017 Nov 0; 100(11):2035-2046. Epub 2017 May 05.

Locock L, Lehman R, Epstein RM. "Sharing Experiences of Illness and Care." JAMA internal medicine.. 2017 Sep 1; 177(9):1249-1250.

Books & Chapters

Book Title: "Attending: Medicine, Mindfulness, and Humanity"
Author List: Epstein, Ronald
Published By: Scribner2017 in New York

Chapter Title: Forward
Book Title: Mindful Medical Practice: Clinical Narratives and Therapeutic Insights
Author List: Epstein, Ronald
Published By: Patricia Lynn Dobkin2015

Chapter Title: Mindful practice
Book Title: Behavioral medicine: A guide for clinical practice
Author List: Epstein R
Edited By: MD Feldman; JF Christensen
Published By: McGraw-Hill Education2014